Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK exists to inspire and empower people to make decisions and take actions every day that will help make human rights reality for all - to become ripples of hope in their communities and across the world.

In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. His campaign called on us to envision and work for a world in which the dignity of every human being is honoured and respected; in which we value one another and realise our own power to shape the future.

 

We are at a critical moment in British and global history. We need to nurture a culture that is built on our shared humanity.

 

The universal concept of human rights that Robert F. Kennedy championed is essential to that effort.

Human rights – the best articulation and codification humanity has ever found for the fundamental interests of people – set out what society should deliver for people and can be a guide to be used and acted on in everyday decision-making, until they are made a reality for all.

 

And yet, we know that for many in the UK, human rights feel remote – they are for others but not for me. Demonstrating the relevance and importance of human rights is the challenge in front of us.

And so we deliver artistic, educational and cultural programmes that tell a relevant, local story of human rights and celebrate the countless organisations that do the incredible work of making human rights a reality to inspire and build long-term cultural change. 

 

WHAT WE DO

 Speak Truth To Power 

A transformative education programme that inspires students to understand that they have the power

within them to make human rights a reality.

 The Ripples of Hope Festival 

A unique new festival, coming in February 2021,

that celebrates the power of people

to make human rights a reality and be ripples of hope.

 The Ripples of Hope 

 Business & Investment Summit 

An annual leadership development summit for senior decision-makers to consider their role, and that of their organisation, in creating a more human world in a time of unrelenting disruption.

Speak Truth To Power is a human rights education programme that is firmly located in the lives and reality of students – and above all speaks to the human skills that underpin human rights, which empower us to overcome our divisions; reject hatred for compassion; move from despair to hope; and take the actions that can make human rights reality for all in society.

Working with educationalists, child psychologists, artists, human rights experts and activists, we have created a flexible  programme  that can be deeply embedded in the work of schools. It has been carefully designed to offer a profound and personal experience to pupils with a lasting impact. 

 

It consists of four inter-connected strands:

1. Mindsets for Change Learning Outcomes

This framework sets out the human qualities & skills young people need to believe in human rights; act on human rights and develop resilience, confidence and agency in a fast-moving world. 

 

2. Classroom Resources

Our resources are creative, experiential journeys – taking students from developing their understanding of themselves, all the way to developing their agency in the world. Each resource has activities and materials for at least 6 hours that can be taught across different subjects and in different formats, with space for teachers and schools to tailor it to their specific context. Our resources root human rights firmly in the lives of students, covering local struggles for human rights, human rights leaders, and how people together make change.

 

3. Human Rights Inspirations:

The power of example to inspire is undoubted, so we facilitate meaningful moments of connection for students and people who are working to make human rights a reality. We connect schools directly with our growing network of human rights activists to facilitate speaking events and we have created an exclusive online resource featuring interviews with a broad range of human rights champions, from Kevin Rudd (PM, Australia) and Patricia Scotland (Secretary-General, Commonwealth) to community activists working on restorative justice and social change.

4. Teacher Training

Our ambition is to build a generation of teachers who are transformational human rights leaders in classrooms, schools and communities. Our teacher training

  • gives teachers the confidence to talk about human rights;

  • helps teachers prepare a delivery plan and their teaching of Speak Truth To Power materials; and

  • develops teachers’ leadership skills in classroom, school and community settings, recognising their power and potential to influence those around them through their example.

BUILDING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS

We work to build meaningful long-term relationships with schools who want to deliver an annual human rights experience to their students, teachers and the community – and to build a culture in which the idea of making human rights a reality is a driving force. 

In 2019-2020, our first year of implementation, we worked with 8 Learning Partner Schools in Greater London and Greater Manchester to deliver 6+ hours of human rights education to more than 4,000 students. We will work to grow our school network in those regions by a further 8-10 Learning Partner Schools over the 2020-2021 academic year.

“The impact Speak Truth To Power has had on our school has been extraordinary. By adopting the idea of Bobby Kennedy’s ripples of hope, through focussing on compassion – empathy, kindness as core principles, our language when we are talking to pupils and staff has changed. We have seen a 40% reduction in fighting and assaults. It will help us steer a path through turbulent times.”

JANICE ALLEN, HEADTEACHER, FALINGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL

If your school is interested in becoming a Speak Truth To Power Learning Partner School, please contact Sughra Ahmed, the Director of Speak Truth To Power, at sughra.ahmed@rfkhumanrights.uk.

 

Greater Manchester

12-16 May 2021

Inspired by people – their stories, their strength and their creativity – Ripples of Hope is a new, unique festival for all of us to: 

  • think about the challenges we face as communities and as humanity; 

  • celebrate the power of people to make change; and 

  • explore how we can - together - take action to make human rights a reality in our communities and across the world. 

Supported by Manchester City Council, we are bringing together the arts, business, communities, activists, NGOs and the public to tell a new local and actionable story about human rights - one that is rooted in communities and the everyday. 

We are working closely with the people of Greater Manchester to create the Festival. Together, we’ve held Gatherings – workshops – with hundreds of people to ensure the Festival covers the issues that matter; shares the stories that should be heard; and is truly of Manchester and to be shared across the world.

Curated by Jude Kelly CBE, the Festival will consist of a range of cultural, artistic and human rights related formats and content, from workshops and creative collaborations to debates, awards and concerts. As outlined in this document, the Festival will be a space for collaboration and learning as well as a platform for celebration and commitment to the cause of making human rights reality. Our vision is to build the Festival to be an international events platform by 2025. 

The coronavirus crisis has only underlined the urgency and potential of The Ripples of Hope Festival. The crisis has laid bare the injustices and shortcomings of our society locally and globally. But it's also reminded many of us how much we share, how deeply interconnected we are and that individual actions matter to all of us. 

Let us build on that reality to create a world and future that truly serves people. We invite you to join us in bringing the vision of The Ripples of Hope Festival to life.

The Ripples of Hope Festival

celebrates the power of people 

to make human rights

a reality for all.

www.ripplesofhopefestival.org

 

Greater Manchester

12 May 2021

If we are to build a sustainable and successful future, business must reinvent itself and its key role in the future of our societies and our planet. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK convenes cross-sector senior decision-makers from the business, finance and technology communities to explore how they and their organisation can be champions for our transformation to a world that serves people and lives within our planetary boundaries.

 

For a future that serves humanity, human rights must be a dynamic in business that goes beyond compliance: they must be at the heart of leadership, strategy and culture. The starting point is the reality that human economies are built on the physical and biological foundations of planet Earth – and must live within them.

We believe in a vision of a regenerative future – where we meet the needs of all, within the means of the planet. It demands of us to create systems and ways of working in which energy and materials flow renewably; that don’t extract our planet’s limited resources; and in which people – and their well-being – are the principal source and definition of value.

The Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit is an opportunity and space for senior-decision makers to pause and reflect on their role as a leader in creating our shared future.

 

With an intensive programme facilitated by leadership development experts Leaders’ Quest, hearing from leading thinkers and decision-makers, you and your peers will:

 

  • Explore where your business sits in society and the new economic landscape of the future through the prism of regenerative economics;

  • Build your own playbook and skills to thrive in a world of intensifying – and competing – stakeholder demands;

  • Explore the metrics leading companies are adopting – and how to integrate them to deliver on your strategy;

  • Develop regenerative approaches to your priorities and relationships with your people; your environmental impact; your supply chain ecosystem; your customers; and the communities and society your serve. 

If you would like to know more about The Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit 2021, please email dennis.marcus@rfkhumanrights.uk

RIPPLES OF HOPE

BUSINESS & INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2020

115 senior business decision-makers came together to begin to build a community committed to creating a better world, through an immersive day:

 

  • AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE – opening plenary with Q&A

  • REIMAGINING THE FUTURE – workshops facilitated by Leaders’ Quest

    • Making our environment clean & sustainable

    • Creating a fair & inclusive economy

    • Fostering a healthy & safe society

  • LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE – workshops facilitated by Leaders’ Quest

    • Alive at Work

    • Breakthrough Conversations

    • Peak Performance

 

Delegates heard from incredible speakers, including:

Eric Collins (founder, ImpactX Capital)

John Elkington (Founder, Volans)

Lord Michael Hastings

Gina Miller (founder, SCM Direct) 

Kim Polman (founder, Reboot the Future)

Ian Stuart (CEO, HSBC UK)

Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Prime Minister, Denmark 2011-15)

"The quality of speakers, calibre of attendees and the value of the workshops made this one of the most insightful and productive conferences I have attended. The workshop session provoked a strong understanding of my current role, motivations and future."

WHO WE ARE

OUR PATRONS

Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Lord Rumi Verjee CBE

OUR BOARD

Dr Mark Ellis

Kerry Kennedy

Eric Levine

Paul Lindley OBE (Chair)

Patricia McCall

Hina Patel

Stella Smith

Peter Thompson

Nizam Uddin

Andrew Wincel

OUR TEAM

Sughra Ahmed

Director, Speak Truth To Power

Maria Bota OBE

Director of the Artistic Programme, Ripples of Hope Festival

Rachele Evaroa

Community Engagement Manager, Ripples of Hope Festival

Jude Kelly CBE

Artistic Director, Ripples of Hope Festival

Dennis Marcus

Executive Director

Laura Marcus

Business Development & Operations Director

AFFILIATION: We are proud and honoured to be affiliated to, and be building on the work of, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in the US, which is led by Kerry Kennedy and was founded after Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1968 by his family and friends as a means to dedicate themselves to a common goal: achieving Bobby’s dream of a more just and peaceful world.

To find out more, visit www.rfkhumanrights.org

 

THE ORGANISATION: Founded in June 2018, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is incorporated in the UK as a limited company (11397556) and registered with the Charity Commission of England & Wales (1181744). 

 
 
 

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to make human rights

a reality for all.

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If you or your organisation would like to get involved in some way, please email us at hello@rfkhumanrights.uk

Please note that while of course we know there are a lot of organisations doing unbelievably important work, we are not a grant-making organisation. Thanks!

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